Western Music Periods and Selected Composers

  • Period: 500 to 1400

    Medieval Period

  • 1098

    Hildegard of Bingen

    Hildegard of Bingen
    • Born in 1098 and died in 1179, Hildegard of Bingen is one of the most prominent musical figures from middle ages.
    • Hildegard was also a botanist, zoologist, pharmacologist, theologist, preacher, and religious visionary.
    • Hildegard's monophonic chants have survived more than any other single figure during the middle ages.
    Listen: Hildegard von Bingen: O pastor animarum (plainchant)
  • 1300

    Guillaume De Machaut

    Guillaume De Machaut
    • Guillaume de Machaut was born in 1300 and died in 1377
    • Most renowned poet and musician of the age (Mid- 14th Century)
    • Almost all of his music survives
    Listen: Guillaume de Machaut- Puis qu'en oubli (polyphonic chanson)
  • 1397

    Guillaume du Faye

    Guillaume du Faye
    • Guillaume du Faye born in 1397 and died in 1474
    • Composed a motet, Nuper rosarum flores, to celebrate the completion of Filippo Brunelleschi's Florence Cathedral
    Listen: Guillaume Dufay - Nuper rosarum flores
  • Period: 1400 to

    Renaissance Period

  • 1543

    William Byrd

    William Byrd
    • William Byrd was born in 1543 and died in 1623
    • Byrd wrote motets for the Anglican Church
    • Versatile composer
    Listen: Byrd: O Lord, make thy servant Elizabeth
  • Period: to

    Baroque Period

  • Johann Sebastian Bach

    Johann Sebastian Bach
    • Johann Sebastian Bach was born in 1685 and died in 1750
    • In his youth, Bach studied music, the humanities, and theology
    • Bach wrote a great deal of instrumental music
    Listen: Bach - Brandenburg Concertos
  • Domenico Scarlatti

    Domenico Scarlatti
    • Domenico Scarlatti was born in 1685 and died in 1757
    • Composed 555 keyboard sonatas
    • Was born in the same year as J.S. Bach and George Frideric Handel
    Listen: Jean Rondeau plays Scarlatti: Sonata in A minor, K.175
  • Joseph Haydn

    Joseph Haydn
    • Joseph Haydn was born in 1732 and died in 1809
    • Haydn was a prolific composer
    • Composed symphonies, string quartets, piano sonatas, and oratorios
    Listen: Haydn: The Six Last Piano Sonatas (Glenn Gould)
  • Period: to

    Classical Period

  • Ludwig Van Beethoven

    Ludwig Van Beethoven
    • Ludwig van Beethoven was born in 1770 and died in 1827
    • His most famous compositions are Symphony No. 5 in C minor Op.67, Symphony No. 7 in A Major Op. 92, and Symphony No. 9 in D minor
    Beethoven: Symphony No. 7 in A Major, Op. 92 - II. Allegretto
  • Period: to

    Romantic Period

  • Hector Berlioz

    Hector Berlioz
    • Hector Berlioz was born in 1803 and died in 1869
    • Berlioz is known for his Symphony Fantastique
    Hector Berlioz - Symphonie Fantastique
  • Frederic Chopin

    Frederic Chopin
    • Frederic Chopin was born in 1810 and died in 1849
    • Chopin is know for his solo pieces for piano
    Chopin - Nocturne op.9 No.2